There were nearly 50 bands who submitted to play at Convergence 20 Chicago and only 8 slots to fill! This wasn’t an easy task and it took months to decide. If possible, we easily could have turned C20 from a 3-night event into a week-long array of bands, bands, bands! We believe we've made a great selection from those who submitted who will represent the spirit of Convergence & the subculture surrounding it, put on a fantastic live performance, and be entertaining even for those who may be as-of-yet unfamiliar with their music.
Many thanks to *all* of the bands who submitted! As stated above, there were *many* who would have also been great choices, and we wish you all the very best!!!
Sunshine Blind (San Francisco)
Formed in 1991 in New Jersey by vocalist Caroline Blind and Guitarist CWHK, Sunshine Blind's signature guitar driven rock, powerful vocals and admonishing lyrics made for a break from the keyboard-generated string orchestras used in much of the music played in goth clubs at the time.
The bands' name and photos appeared in many of the goth zines of the time (Blue Blood, Ghastly, Propaganda), as well as in more mainstream music magazines such as Alternative Press.
Sunshine Blind played and toured along with so many great bands of the time, and 1996, they supported Faith and the Muse on their nationwide "Apparition" tour. In 1997 Sunshine Blind did another nationwide tour with west coast favorites Switchblade Symphony.
They have played shows sporadically since then, in the U.S. and abroad, and released their third (and most Trip-hop) CD "I Carry You" in 2003. Blind and CWHK parted ways in 2003, but played a reunion show in San Francisco in 2010 with William Faith of Faith and the Muse on bass, and original Sunshine Blind drummer Geoff Bruce on drums.
(Sunshine Blind performed at Convergence I and Convergence II; we are ecstatic they could join us for Convergence 20!)
Ending the Vicious Cycle (EVC) (Dallas/Ft. Worth)
Ending the Vicious Cycle is a gothic rock band from Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX area heavily influenced and compared to Bauhaus and The Sisters of Mercy, also drawing heavy inspiration from Jrock and Japanese EGA. The band was formed in 2009 by singer/guitarist Toby Rider. Rider recruited Samuel Coronado on guitar and keyboards, Shane Flores on bass, and Chris Rayburne on drums to finalize the line-up for EVC.
The music of EVC has a heavy dark rock feel, and is characterized by Rider’s introspective lyrics and elegant baritone over booming bass and melodic synth lines. They self-released a four song demo in 2010 and an EP, Ghosts, produced by Raymond John Ross in 2012, but gained much more notice for the single “1,000 Words” mixed by Voe Saint-Claire of The Angels of Liberty. The band's upcoming full-length album Big Black Heart was produced by Louis DeWray (Nosferatu).
(Convergence 20 is EVC's first Convergence - and Chicago- appearance- so far, that is!)
Peeling Grey (Los Angeles)
Peeling Grey formed in June of 2008 by Andy Smith and Mike O’Hare. The band made its debut live performance in April, 2009. A string of live shows all over the Los Angeles area slowly kick started local interest in the band, particularly from the underground Indie, Post Punk, and Goth scenes.
Peeling Grey has performed all across California, Las Vegas, and Texas. Their second music video “Rumors” was released in December of 2013 along with an accompanying maxi-single. “Rumors” is noted for being a departure from their previous work. A second full length album is expected in 2014 titled “Our Sky’s Falling”.
Peeling Grey has their sights set on further developing their sound that is routed in Post Punk. Despite their routes and influences that span many facets of that era, the group looks towards the future of music…..Akin to the original spirit of the past.(Convergence 20 will be Peeling Grey's first time in Chicago as well as their first Convergence performance.)
Arch Visceral Parlor (Chicago)
Arch Visceral Parlor is a dark, shoegaze, female-fronted arthouse band that delivers fiery passion through sensual female vocals. The reverb-drenched guitars take the darkwave aesthetic further into blurry melodies alongside intricate bass and percussion. With ethereal vocals and guitar and a melodic rhythm section, AVP’s songs lyrically stretch across the expanse of the dreamy, beautiful, haunting and wistful and are sure to captivate.
Through the years, they have found inspiration and vitality in so many aspects of Chicago- through its natural history as well as through the urban and aesthetic influences that inform AVP’s nature-based yet contemporary sensibility.
As locals of the Chicago area and veterans of the Chicago music scene, AVP is eager to play for their home audience once again at Convergence. There has been nothing more special than to be at home in every sense of the word and have the privilege of sharing this weekend with so many other wonderful artists.
(C20 marks AVP's second Convergence; they also performed at C10.)
The March Violets (Leeds, UK)
The March Violets are one of those bands.
Formed in Leeds in the post punk era at the very start of the 80s, they were one of the 4 dark Northern Bands that are often blamed for starting the Gothic scene, The Danse Society, The Sisters of Mercy, The March Violets, and The Southern Death Cult. The Violets released a series of singles that still fill the darker dance floors around the world, the most played being "Snakedance" and "Walk into the Sun."
Three original members reformed in 2008 for a reunion, and since then the Violets have done a few rare concerts, headlined some festivals, and finally managed to write and record their first proper album.
They will be playing some old classics and some new ones from the Made Glorious album. Strangely enough, people who have seen the The March Violets in this century say they sound exactly the same as they did back in the early 80's, the Violets agree.
The March Violets' appearance at C20 (their first C*) will mark their first time in the U.S. since 1987, and the first time ever with all three original members -- promising a rare performance from a legendary band that has actually managed to evolve, yet retain their original dark brilliance.
"Play Loud, Play Purple."
Pretentious, Moi? (London, UK)
Hope springs eternal: Convergence is proud to present the North American debut of modern day UK goth saviors PRETENTIOUS, MOI?
Created by Tim Chandler in 1994, the band has grown from demo cassettes to a full-fledged recording and touring entity in recent years, and boasts a line-up that reads like who's who of the UK goth scene: Rachel Iden (nee Speight, of Die Laughing), Gordon Young (ex-Dream Disciples), Christian Tonkin (Manuskript) and Matt Helm (Red Sun Revival).
The recent eponymous debut album features a powerful assortment of dancefloor-ready goth anthems that you've doubtless heard at events here, there and everywhere; infectious, driving and rich in sound and fury. Their appearance at Convergence 20 promises to be something quite special.
Chicago’s I:Scintilla (pronounced “eye-sin-til-uh”) have spent the last decade on a constant pursuit of musical exploration and artistic refinement. Never happy with genre boundaries, the quartet has taken its metal-infused electronica signature and drawn in elements of synth pop, trip-hop, and indie electro. The band’s brand new EP “Marrow 2" is an excellent representation of these new influences and styles. The EP includes four remixes that also traverse a spectrum of genres: funk, club-friendly EBM, and even a hint of dubstep.
I:Scintilla's other notable accomplishments include festival appearances in the United States and Europe, most notably at Dragon*Con in 2012 and 2010 and at Germany’s Wave Gotik Treffen in 2007. They also appeared on the long-running independent music program JBTV in 2012 and 2007 and have been featured in nearly every alternative music magazine in Germany and several in England, Belgium, and Italy. In 2008 the band hit the road with darkwave mainstays The Cruxshadows for an extensive three-month U.S. tour that brought their live show to every corner of the United States.
(C20 marks I:Scintilla's first Convergence appearance.)
The Gothsicles (Chicago)
In recent years, Chicago’s ultrasweaty industrial dance dorkstorm, THE GOTHSICLES, have played some of the most talked about live shows at some of the most premiere industrial music festivals around the globe and the US coast to coast. Compounding a ruinous mix of crass humor, video games and geek culture with an unapologetic EBM affinity, The Gothsicles’ 2011 release “Industrialites & Magic” (WTII Records) reached the #1 spot on Amazon.com for “Most Downloaded” in the “Goth & Industrial” category with a new released scheduled for early 2014.
(Remarkably, C20 will be the first time The Gothsicles have played a C*!)